A new study by Hankook Tyres has revealed that 1 in 10 UK car drivers have never checked their tyre pressure and almost half of drivers surveyed are unaware of the legal limits for tyre tread on their vehicle.

According to a new study by Hankook, 1 in 5 drivers in the UK are only checking their tyre pressure every 6 months, despite it being recommended to check every week. The Hankook survey delves into driver’s awareness surrounding tyre safety with the poll showing that worryingly 1 in 10 have never checked their tyre pressure or tyre tread and almost half of drivers are unaware of what the legal limit is for tyre tread on a passenger car.

Tread depth has a decisive influence on the way a vehicle accelerates, brakes and corners. Safe tyres with legal tread depth will reduce the risks to drivers, their passengers and all road users. Driving on tyres with illegal tread depth not only reduces their safety on the road but also risks a fine of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre.

Despite 70% of drivers not changing the tyres on their vehicle until there is a problem or they are advised to, 40% said that tyres are most important to maintain on a car. But the report also reveals that two thirds of drivers wouldn’t know how to change the tyre on a car in an emergency and almost 1 in 5 drivers do not carry a spare tyre in their vehicle, even though a quarter of drivers have broken down as a result of tyre related problems.

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With winter now upon us, the research looked into driving in wintry conditions with a massive three quarters of drivers not confident driving in wintry conditions and less than 10% of drivers are unaware of the correct breaking they should leave in icy weather. This means they could be putting other road users, and themselves, at risk by under-estimating the distance.

Stephen Marsh, Retail Development Manager at Hankook commented “The number of reported casualties resulting from tyre-related incidents over the last 5 years is 5,677 of which 989 people were killed or seriously injured. Where casualties arise from an accident caused by a vehicle defect, tyres are the single largest contributory factor over the last five reported years, accounting for 36% of the total. 2.2 million cars annually fail their MoT due to tyre-related defects and with the weather getting colder and wintry conditions soon to arrive, it’s more important than ever for drivers to have better awareness when it comes to their vehicles and tyres.”